Wednesday, April 30th 2003 - 21:00 UTC

Kirchner: I'm my own man.

Argentine presidential candidate Nestor Kirchner pointed out in interviews with the main newspapers of the country that support from the ruling President Eduardo Duhalde administration will not represent “any conditioning or pressure” if he's finally victorious in the May 18 run off.

"It's been a relation of great respect but also with many dissidences, some strong and public", said Santa Cruz governor in reference to his relation with president Duhalde.

Mr. Kirchner who managed 22% of the vote last Sunday will be running against former president Carlos Menem who collected 24% of the vote.

"I'm a man of deep convictions and I'm not submitted to any kind of conditioning or pressure, nor do I like to build politics following party structures", emphasized Mr. Kirchner who anyhow thanked president Duhalde for all his support.

Actually Mr. Menem refers to Mr. Kirchner with contempt as "the interim president's chick".

"Many believe that Kirchner owes a lot to Mr. Duhalde, but I can assure you the head of government would not support a candidate he knew was a looser", added Mr. Kirchner insisting that "the president would never be so foolish as to accompany someone he knew had no future or was conditioned".

Mr. Kirchner also rejected the idea of direct agreements with the other candidates that were defeated on April 27, but rather would hold talks with them to ensure "governance".

"I believe corporative voting in Argentina is over. Citizens will have to choose between two models next May 18, one failed and exhausted, and the other a quality alternative that commits us to build a different country".

"We must return and cherish a normal Argentina, where the best are those who excel and study most; those who work harder, those who are most decent, something the country lost during the ten years of Menem rule", underlined Mr. Kirchner.

President Duhalde support for Mr. Kirchner was decisive in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina's main electoral circumscription.

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